With Hope in Tottenham’s assistance, Chief Superintendent Karen Findlay, visited Park View School (PVS) on November 2nd.

By John Stevenson, Hope in Tottenham Communications Trustee.

CS Findlay heads operations at the Taskforce, the Metropolitan Police’s first response unit, frequently called upon to attend to numerous issues such as major public order and counter-terrorism incidents, and, on occasion, situations involving Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) accidents.

The Taskforce’s TSG (Territorial Support Group) provides substantial support to boroughs experiencing high volumes of crime.

The main aim of the visit, which included Tottenham-based MPS Schools Inspector Matt Chapman, was to increase levels of trust and understanding of the work of police within the school community.

The rapport between the students and the police was friendly and relaxed as CS Findlay and her team explained the work of the TSG, demonstrating the use of several pieces of equipment including riot shields, batons, handcuffs and battering rams.

The attentive young people also used the Q&A session of the visit to ask candid questions of the police officers such as, ‘When will stop and search operations against Black people end?’.

Ma’am Findlay said it was important that the Met Police engage with students to “reveal that there is a human face behind their uniforms”. It was essential, in her view, that the police build genuine trust and engagement with the young people, who, hopefully, will be the policemen and policewomen of the future”.

A teacher in a suit lifts a police battering ram over his head.

A teacher shows how heavy the battering ram really is.

PVS’s Head of Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) and Religious Studies, Ms Ammie Ferguson said:

“The TSG visit was an incredible experience for the students at Park View School. The sincerity and openness of the officers empowered our students, equipping them with new understanding and challenging their preconceptions. The session enabled our students to engage with the police in a way that brought down barriers, allowing our students to understand the person behind the uniform. This resulted in a refreshed perspective of the role and value of the police in our local community. This is a significant step in building positive community relationships and we very much look forward to building on this in the future.”